American Rivers Partners with Bucksport Community to Develop Rain Gardens
Continued partnerships with community members in Bucksport provided for two additional rain gardens to be installed in early March. The community collaboration, that was developed during the first of two previous rain gardens installed last June at the James R. Frazier Community Center, expanded to include the South Carolina Native Plant Society. Its founder, Rick Huffman, owner of Earth Designs, offered his plant and landscape expertise throughout the planning and construction of the rain gardens.
Three recently certified Master Rain Gardeners, Trapper Fowler with Coastal Conservation League, Catherine Watts with Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium, and Victoria Green with Waccamaw Watershed Academy, at Coastal Carolina University, were able to gain hands-on experience and lessons to hone their new skills.
The videography was provided by Pierre Fignole, III, a student from Coastal Carolina University who is lead videographer on a community story mapping project that will encapsulate the Bucksport community story. The video documentation of the rain garden process will be developed for future use as an education module for community members.
Throughout the process, community members were able to learn the steps for soil sampling and percolate testing to identify what materials would be needed for remediation of the soil at the sites. Two separate sites were chosen as being the most beneficial to aid with flood resiliency, as well as providing for high visibility and ongoing educational value.
The first rain garden was installed at a community member’s residence, one that has routinely experienced the impact of flooding resulting from excessive rain. Primarily, due to the timing of rain in the forecast and the location of the site, this phase of the project was conducted with limited community member involvement and was held on the Thursday prior to the Saturday event.
The second rain garden was installed at a highly visible location within Bucksport, across the road from Grace Chapel Church, an historic property that has been earmarked for restoration by the Association for the Betterment of Bucksport. The community’s plan for a future Farmer’s Market stand was a factor in choosing the second site’s location.
Although the weather was windy and somewhat cold, nearly a dozen community members participated on the day of the event. The process for preparation of the second rain garden was adjusted to include gravel and landscape liner to accommodate for drainage due to soil composition. Overall, the rain garden will serve, not only for its benefits of flood remediation, but it will also provide as a pollinator garden to attract bees and butterflies, with the added bonus of the aesthetics for beautification of the community.
The event closed out with community members being served lunch by Donnie Greene at Donnie’s Grill, a locally owned restaurant which offers southern and Caribbean cuisine.